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Art of Baking Pies by Sarah Flanagan & Eileen Murphy-McNamara

Art of Baking Pies

Recipes by Sarah Flanagan

Watercolors by Eileen Murphy-McNamara

Eileen and I continue to meet for pie and painting. This submission includes summer flavor and color.

It is often heard that people will always save room for pie. I like to think that people always make time for pie. Is there a better way to say “come on in,” or “stay a little longer,” than the invitation to sit for a piece of homemade pie?

Eileen’s paintings are as inviting as the real slice. Enjoy!


Lemon Pie
(From New York Times Cookbook)

1 ½ cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
4 eggs, separated
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees.
Sift together 1 cup of sugar and the cream of tartar. Beat the egg whites until stiff. Slowly fold in the sugar mixture and beat until well blended. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie plate. Spoon the meringue mixture into the pie plate and spread to form a shell, building up sides. Bake for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let cool.

Beat the egg yolks until light and lemon colored. Add ½ cup of the sugar, the lemon rind and lemon juice. Beat to blend. Cook in the top of a double boiler until thickened, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and let cool.

Whip half of the cream until stiff and fold this into the lemon filling. Pour this into the meringue shell. Chill until the filling is set.

Whip the remaining cup of cream with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Use the whipped cream to cover the whole pie or serve each slice with a dollop of cream and wedge of fresh lemon.


Banana Cream Pie with Macadamia Crust
(This recipe is based on The New Basics Cookbook by Rosso & Lukins)


Put the following ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until evenly chopped, not too fine:
1 cup unsalted macadamia nuts
½ cup flaked unsweetened coconut
2 tablespoons light brown sugar

Pour the nut mixture into a bowl. In a separate bowl, beat one egg white until stiff, and gently fold it into the nut mixture. Press the mixture evenly into an 8-inch pie plate. Bake until the crust is lightly browned, 7 minutes. (If you want to use a 9-inch pie plate, you can increase this recipe by half.)

Custard Filling

3 egg yolks
5 teaspoons cornstarch
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 ½ cups milk
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup heavy cream
2 to 3 bananas
½ cup finely chopped macadamia nuts

Prepare the custard by beating the egg yolks in a heavy saucepan. Add the cornstarch and sugar, mixing well. Stir in the milk, salt, and butter. Cook the egg mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, until bubbling and thick, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Transfer the mixture to a glass bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours.

Whip the cream with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Fold the whipped cream in the chilled custard.

Arrange banana slices evenly over crust bottom and sides. Spoon the filling into the crust, cover with plastic wrap, and chill for another 2 hours. When ready to serve, sprinkle the chopped nuts evenly over the top, and then arrange additional banana slices in a decorative pattern on top of the pie.


Blueberry Maple Pie
This is a basic fruit pie recipe, but I substitute maple syrup for sugar.

Your favorite double-crust pie recipe.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine 4 cups blueberries, ¼ cup tapioca, ¼ cup flour, 4 teaspoons lemon juice and 1 cup maple syrup. Allow mixture to sit for 15 minutes before spooning into pie shell. Cover with second crust. (I use apple corer to cut small decorative holes into the top crust. A lattice crust is also nice.)
Bake for 1 hour. If crust begins browning too much, lightly lay a piece of foil over the top, but the blueberry filling needs the full hour to reach desired consistency.

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